How to Convert Your US Visit Visa to a Work Visa
You landed in the United States of America for a three-month visit and fell head-over in love with the country. You don't want to return to Nigeria again because of the USA's millions of opportunities and excellent work balance.
To tempt you more, you found schools that could take your HND certificate for your masters if you stay behind. Then, maybe, you worked briefly as a nanny in the neighbourhood and made your five months' salary within two months.
The time to pack your things and return is near, and you don't want the good life to end. So how can you convert a tourist visa to a work visit?
Many Nigerians want to know how to stay in the United States permanently. Therefore, when you apply for a tourist or visit visa to the USA, you have made your intention known that you have a short time to stay in the country.
So you need a genuine and strong reason to convince the US government that you don't want to return home again. Often, the Department of State(DOS) finds it suspicious when you try to convert your short stay to a permanent one and would thoroughly scrutinize your application.
If care is not taken to handle this application, you may be permanently barred from entering the country. Moreover, a change in such status may be taken as a preconceived or deliberate intention, which could be misleading to the government.
What is treated as conspicuous about your change of status?
When you wanted to apply for a US Visit Visa, you knew the time duration and why you could not spend more than six months in the country. So you agreed to this term with the US consulate in Nigeria, which granted you a visit visa.
In the USA, you had a similar discussion with the US port of entry officers and the interviewing officer. If you change your visit status within 90 days of coming to America, the DOS may find your action indicative of a presumption of misrepresentation.
What does this mean? You must prove your true intention of coming to the country. The process is not easy, but you can change your status from a visitor visa to a work visa.
How to Change From a B1/B2 Visa to H1B/F1 Visa
When you receive a B1/B2 visa or a non-immigrant visa, you have a temporary stay in the country for purposes like business or tourism.
What You Can Do With B1/B2 Visa
· Receive medical treatment
· Engage in tourist activities/ go on a vacation
· Visit family
· Conduct business to negotiate a contract or attend business meetings
· Settle a relative’s estate
· Attend a conference
· Attend events viz. Concerts or classes without payment or credit are given as the attendee
What You Cannot Do With B1/B2 Visa
· Have a long-term employment offer
· Arrive as a crewmember on an aircraft or ship
· Do paid performances or any professional performance
· Work as foreign press in film, radio, print journalism, or other information media
· Obtain permanent residence in the USA
For instance, the student visa, F1, is a non-immigrant visa for international students certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). Therefore, if you want to change from B1/B2 visa to H1B/F1 visa, the 90-day Rule must apply.
What’s the 90-day Rule?
The 90-day Rule states that:
“If you are a temporary visa holder who changes your intention/reason to stay in the country through marriage or visa status change within 90 days of coming to the USA, it’s automatically presumed that you have misrepresented your original intentions.”
Therefore, with the 90-day Rule, you have to prove that you have a strong reason to stay back after your visit expires.
· You must find an employer in the United States who is ready to sponsor you for an H1B visa.
· The employer has to petition for you until April of the following year. After that, the process could be carried out during the H1B lottery process.
If you want to change from a B1/B2 visa to an F1 visa, you must prove that your intention to change your visa status is genuine. Here is what to know about the process:
1) You have succeeded in keeping your visa status, which hasn't met its expiry.
2) You have not committed any crime that would take away your eligibility
3) You were lawfully admitted into the US on a non-immigrant visa, a B2 or a B1 visa
4) You are not deemed inadmissible into the USA under US law and have not been granted any waiver in inadmissibility
Documents Required for Changing Visit Visa to Student Visa
The forms and documents have to be filled out and mailed to USCIS.
· Form I-20 – Certificate of Eligibility for non-immigrant student status
· Form I-539 – Application for the extension/change of non-immigrant status
· Evidence of financial stability
· Proof you have significant ties to Nigeria
· Additional documents show your original intent to return to your home country when you had a visa.
Activities that May Indicate a Possible Violation of Status
· Engaging in unauthorized employment on B1/B2 nonimmigrant status
· Enrolling in a course of study
· Marrying a United States citizen or Green Card holder and residence in the United States.
· Undertaking any other activity for which a status change would be required without first applying for and receiving a change.
Legal Elements of the Misrepresentation Bar
You can be permanently barred from entering the US, if:
· You affirmatively made a misrepresentation or submitted false information in your evidence.
· Misrepresentation was made before a U.S. official.
· The misrepresentation was willfully done (knowingly and intentionally)
· You made the misrepresentation on your own visa application or application for admission to the United States.
· You could be held responsible for misrepresentations made by your agent or lawyer if you were aware of it.
· The fact misrepresented is material, that is, relevant to your application or the agencies’ examination of the full facts.
· The applicant, by using fraud or misrepresentation
· You sought to procure or procure a visa, other documentation, or admission into the United States.
If your request for a visa status change is denied, Pay4Me recommends that you return home and start a new request for an H1B or F1 visa. Finally, our app allows you to begin your cross-border payments to the United States.